tv Ali Velshi on Target Al Jazeera December 31, 2015 1:00am-1:31am EST
>> i'm dwhs in for al david schi velshi . "on target" tonight. born in the u.s., fighting to survive miles away from their american dreams. america's immigration system is broken making for a hot button political issue on the presidential campaign trail. republican donald trump wants to deport alt 11 million undocumented immigrants and build a long wall along the mexican border to keep them out.
meanwhile, president obama has deported more people in his term in office since his predecessors, 2.4 million at last count. facilities run by for profit prison corporations looking to make a buck. al jazeera america ines ferre reports. >> head about an hour south of phoenix into the heart of the arizona desert and off the highway you'll find the e loi eloy detention center. it's a federal facility under the department of homeland security , immigration and customs enforcement. or ice. part of what activist los garcia
says is a troubling trend tors troubling trend torts privatization. >> what's important is the bottom line. >> reporter: right now the cost of detention is about $160 per day per detainee. that comes out to $5 million a day or $200 million a year. critics say those cost savings are far from proven and focusing on the bottom line can result in inhumane and even lethal conditions. >> detention center is the deadliest detention center in the country. we've seen 14 deaths in the last 12 years. >> garcia runs puente human rights movement, a grass roots organization in phoenix. >> we've had people not have access to health care, adequate food,ing people being treated as slaves.
people inside these private facilities work for $1 a day. >> reporter: specific allegation he of mistreatment -- allegations of mistreatment are hard to pin down. most of the deaths at eloy were related to medical issues, at least five were declared suicides. and studies show that privately run facilities including prisons most often cut cost on being security staffing. that coulding lead to violence, abuse, neglect and misconduct. >> you think government could do a better job? >> it makes a difference when a prison is run for a for-profit company. it's hard tore keep that company accountable. >> by law, same standards of liability, limited state oversight. that's why garcia says he want
to shut eloy down. every are >> sandra is a regular at these meetings. they don't have access to medication, they can only drink water if they're sick, in pain, water, if their stomach hurts water, if their head hurts, water. so he's a frayed, very afraid, very afraid. >> her husband has been deported back to mexico four times. >> it's a detention center,. >> it's not paradise. it's help. it's supposed ton a detention center not a jail. they're not criminals, they're not rapists, they're not drug traffickers.
>> what's your worst fear about your husband being at eloy? >> that something might happen to him that later he will suffer some injury and that they will say he took his own life. >> those fears stem from the latest death at eloy. on may 20th, authorities say jose committed suicide by stuffing a sock in his throat. his family disputes the official finding, saying he showed no signs of distress. >> translator: if he had put the sock in his mouth when would it have gone down his throat, that's what has us so angry that we don't know the truth. >> juan reported hearing him beaten before his death. so we went inside eloy to hear firsthand what he had to say. >> he was beaten in the area i was, that's where he was beaten. he was screaming and begging the officer to spare his life.
>> that's when 200 detainees staged osix day hunger strike. >> we needed to organize. to make sure that it didn't also happen to us. >> he says he spent a month in solitary confinement punished for speaking out. an ice spokesperson disputes his allegations saying he was disciplined for trying to organized the disturbs at the center. but puente organization leader. >> others said they will get deported if they continue to talk to the media. their phone privileges have been taken away. >> have you tried the contact cca? >> we have attempted to contact cca, never had a response. we contact immigration and customs enforcement. asking them to
be responsible. >> what is their response? >> they tell us they will look into matters, that they are communicating with cca but they get to hide behind cca. there cca. >> cca said it works closely to ice, to adhere to its strict guidelines and requirements. >> the fundamental problems with their business model, they still rake in enormous revenues. so they still are a force to be reckoned with. >> karl takei is an attorney of the national prison project of the aclu. immigration tee tension has been the $3 billion private prison industry's fastest growing sector in years.
>> from 2008 to 2014 it's estimated that the private prison industry spent more than $13 million on lobbying congress. and much of that was focused on the committee that can allocate money for detention facilities. >> reporter: cca says it doesn't lobby for or take positions on detention laws. but takei says, it is simple, ultimately means more business for private prison companies. juan miguel cornejo, seen dancing with his daughter at her 15th birthday party, probably won't be reunited with his family soon. some detainees are inside eloy for years. >> what will you do next? >> right now i'm going to try keep fighting for my case and well i trust in god. i trust in god. i trust that there is justice in him.
>> and what do you tell your children? >> to forgive me. to forgive me for not being with them right now. it's out of my hands. >> as a mexican citizen, odds are less than 5% he will be granted asylum. for now all his children can look forward to is their weekly visit to eloy. >> i wait for saturdays every week all week long. >> yeah, it's really to see he's okay. but it's also like, you know, that lady comes after you and it's okay you have five minutes left. you know it's like okay , quickly hug your dad, say good-bye. >> ines ferre, al jazeera, eloy, arizona. >> coming up the hard line gop stance in immigration. will it help or hurt the party in the general election?
in this country. greater immigration enforcement and border controls. earlier we talked with charles but hebutler who happens to agree wh trump. we asked hymn if it was wise for republican candidates to alienate hispanic voters going into the 2016 election. here's what he said. >> first of all, three are that the alienating can voters. most of my latina friends or hispanic friends are guess illegal immigration. and pew research list immigration at fourth or fifth on the list of legal or american citizens who happen to be latino or hispanic in their concern. >> polls show that when you have a republican like donald trump
or ted cruz who say well, maybe we do need massive deportation, 11 million latinos, take those 11 million and send them out, even if they've been here for 13 years, that that's not wise politically. >> that is very wise politically. they have been using that 11 million number since 1994. that's a number that's ridiculous and ludicrous. the american people need to wake up and look around. why do we have so many hispanics or latinos in south carolina and georgia? they didn't reside in those places before. here in chicago, a sanctuary city, we have an abundance of latinos. they have so much clout politically they are demanding their own schools, even though they are closing schools in black and brown neighborhoods. >> let's move away in that. we're not going to come to decision. >> no we are not.
>> in terms of deportation as a policy in order to deport 11 million people over two years as donald trump suggests, you would need to find and deport 15,000 people a day have. >> uh-huh. >> do you think that the united states has the law enforcement manpower and money to do that? >> well, i think yeah, i think media has tried to build a case again deporting illegals. because the media, a liberal media has its own agenda. the bottom line is we had operation wetback. and operation wetback supposedly, i've read statistics that said either two to five million mexicans back to mexico, with 1/10 of the size of border patrol we have at a. yes it is possible. we should hire people who find illegals. city contracts who are clearly hiring illegals. we have city and state and governmental jobs where they are hiring illegals with taxpayer
money and also demanding that people be bilingual and by bilingual they mean speaking spanglish in order to get jobs or promoting. it's unfair around discriminates against americans. >> one of the things that came out in the piece that we just ran is there is huge lobbying for these detention facilities. there is a lot of lobbying from the chamber of commerce which does want comprehensive immigration reform. would you agree that we need to get some of the lobbying money out of this? >> i agree that we need to put the american people first. that's what i agree with, put americans' interests first. i don't care about illegal immigrants. i don't care how they're treated, they need to leave. they are here illegally, we spend a lot of money on these people. one thing your story didn't poit point out. in san diego, they're warehousing these people in very
nice hotels as refugees. who come frommity from tijuana. we certainly need to get the chamber of commerce out of this issue because they are definitely on the other side of this issue for me. >> what do you think realistically is going to happen as far as these immigration changes? because again donald trump stands alone in terms of this idea of deporting everybody. >> let's talk about the candidates. donald trump is saying what the people want to hear. the media and the establishment politicians can't wrap their arms around that. donald trump is our guy because he's saying the things that we want a politician to say and we want a politician to do and i think he has the chutzpah to get it done. we can certainly deport 11 million people if we start giving them jobs.
if you want to decrease unemployment deport the 11 million people you talk about, the 20 to 30 million people that i talk about. >> it may be possible for donald trump to simply bypass correct me if i' congress,he can't bypass the sue court which has said, every one of these illegal immigrants are still entitled to due process under law. there has to be an administrative judge that gives them an opportunity to prove they do belong in the united states. you would have to hire something like 40,000 administrative judges to deal with all of this. >> to that david i have this to say my fellow wolverine, here we go again, the media making fallacies, trying the scare the american people. we will use the immigration process and people will self-deport as mitt romney tried to point out and was made fun of. he had several good points and he was absolutely right, like
>> we've been talking tonight about the 2.4 million immigrants deported since president obama took office. among them are thousands of children of immigrants who were sent back to mexico even though they were born in america. in other words, u.s. citizens. these kids are lost in mexico, without official papers or language skills.
as david ariosto shows us, some of these kids face life in dangerous territories, controlled by drug cartels. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: a friendly neighborhood soccer match. it's a welcome distraction for these kids. many are undocumented, struggle with the language. and are displaced due to poverty and violence. it's a sad though familiar story. but there's something different about these children. some are actually american. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: those like 14-year-old salvador were born in the u.s., a small opportunity just north of san francisco. but today, he's living here. the violent and at times lawless mexican state of michoacan. which is considered the very birth place of mexico's drug wars.
his parents like millions of others escaped the region by trekking across the desert and into the u.s. where they lived for nearly 15 years. giving birth to salvador and his two sisters. but the threat of deportation and a downturn in the u.s. economy eventually forced his parents to return to mexico. >> i was having trouble finding work. our three kids to support. i decided to go back. >> reporter: rather than break up the family the kids went with their parents. traveling south and over the border, to a country they had never seen before. they had no immigration papers. no u.s. passports. and no mexican citizenship. in other words, they are undocumented americans living in mexico. >> to cross the land border from the u.s., you don't need a passport. often they come to mexico without ever having been documented with a u.s. passport. at
a very basic level they are not documented as u.s. citizens or mexican citizens. >> nearly half a million american children are growing up and going to school in mex mexico and with u.s. deportations on the rise that number is expected to increase. having nearly doubled in the last three years. >> this community is not only very large but it's a vulnerable community. these children are very vulnerable. >> but they're not easy to find. something the state department is trying to address. by working with ngos to identify these kids. and sending buses to go pick them up so that they can get processed. and yet those like salvador are scattered across the often lawless regions of mexico where drug cartels battle with local militias and the mexican army. so we decided to see for ourselves what salvador is now dealing with and traveled west
in his van to patzangan where dealing with the knights of templar cartel. >> situated between mexico city and the coast. it's a dangerous dangerous area. just driving around this area kind of makes you a little nervous because kidnapping is rife here. it's also got one of the highest murder rates in the entire country. we called ahead and spoke to someone who essentially let everyone know that we're coming so hopefully we make it through this region without any issues. but that is something that somebody like salvador has to deal with on a day-to-day basis and it is something he never had to think about back in california. the problems came early. salvador first arrived in mexico at age 9, spoke only broken
spanish and began having flubl school. trouble in school. >> that was the most difficult part of my life, i used to cry. >> making them especially prone to joining organized crime. as soldiers or mules, who shepherd narcotics across the u.s. border. since 2006, more than 3600 children have been arrested in operations against these cartels. two of salvador's friends weren't so lucky. he said they joined the knight of templar cartel only to the killed in a shoot out with police. >> why do you think they joined? >> well, if you see this place i think they joined because of the money. this place doesn't have much money. so they just want to succeed in this place.
>> reporter: salvador's father earns just $10 a day working at a nearby farm. a jobs with the cartels could be a far more lucrative though potentially deadly career choice. some are run by the military, some by local vi vigilantes and some by cartels. and it is not always easy to tell who's who given that those who run these checkpoints tend to switch sides. >> so we're getting right to one of these checkpoints that we're talking about earlier and you can kind of see in the distance there they're actually checking one of the trucks that have come across. they are checking for arms, checking for drugs and they take their security very seriously here. you see the sand bags stacked up, guns at the ready. this is an area of control that's run by one of the militias backed by the government.
you can see the line or the insignia. the rural police force, it's got backing of mexico city. across that border right there where you can kind of see that bit of debris lined up, that is a demarcation line, the area that they don't control. beyond that line and up in those mountains are where local officials say new cartels and vin lan tee -- vigilante groups are forming. december 16th, tension between two rival groups erupted in michoacan captured on amateur video. one of the leaders in that battle was this man, him hippolito mora.
there we hamora. >> we had to defend ourselves. we just couldn't work with the cartel. they controlled everything. >> reporter: mora's son was one of 11 people killed during that battle. he died at the hands of a vigilante, known simply as el americano, or the american. he earned that title after living several years in the united states. while it's not clear that the american came to mexico like scasmed ther salvador, there is concern that they coo ultimately add to the problems plaguing the region. and as deportations from the u.s. rise the ranks of america's lost generation in mexico are also growing. >> and that is our show for today. i'm david schuster in for ali velshi. thanks for joining us. the news continues here on al jazeera america.
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